Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 38
  1. #1
    Registered User Subie Love's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-03-2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Age
    32
    Posts
    67
    Images
    15

    Default Best way to get to the approach trail

    I'm having trouble figuring out the logistics getting to the approach trail for my '14 thru hike. I searched and found that most people are saying take the amtrak. Amtrak from Jacksonville to Gainesville on April 3rd is $151; Greyhound is $56. Once I get to Gainesville, I assume its pretty easy to take a cab to the approach trail? Anyone know the about cost? Any other input would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default

    The best way, after you decide if you are going to fly to Atlanta, train or bus to Gainesville, is to make a reservation with the hiker hostel. They will pick you up, take you back to the hostel for the night, feed you breakfast, and drop you off at Springer or Amicalola Fall State Park (your choice). $80. Great way to start the hike.

    You can get a cab from Gainesville to AFSP. I don't know what the going rate is. Many drivers will not go to Springer.

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Default

    Companion says taxi from Gainesville to AFSP is $70, and service to Springer is extra.

  5. #5
    Registered User Subie Love's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-03-2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Age
    32
    Posts
    67
    Images
    15

    Default

    Wow, they make it super easy. I'll be making reservations and buying my Greyhound ticket tomorrow! Thanks for the help. I'm excited to see this plan coming together

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,011

    Default

    Highly recommend the Saint's Hiker Hostel. They'll pick you up in Atlanta(AP or Greyhound) or Gainesville GA and take you to either AFSP or Springer as part of their well worth it affordable overnight package but they sometimes do shuttles only as well.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-08-2012
    Location
    Taghkanic, New York, United States
    Posts
    3,097
    Journal Entries
    11

    Default

    Also HYOH and all, but it appeared to me that many of the thru hiker I met this year who did the approach trail wished they didn't. I was planing it, but due to hiking with Splash and her schedule needing to return we skipped it. I was glad I did once I've heard of those who did.

  8. #8
    GA-ME 2011
    Join Date
    03-17-2007
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Age
    63
    Posts
    3,071
    Images
    9

    Default

    Some people drive their car and leave it for 5-6 months at the AFSP parking lot.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-13-2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Age
    67
    Posts
    2,553

    Default

    Kinda related question. How do you get home from Katahdin ?

  10. #10
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    DFW, TX / Northern NH
    Age
    64
    Posts
    7,995
    Images
    27

    Default

    Usually, get a lift via car to Millinocket, bus from Millinocket to Bangor, another bus to Boston. Then bus, train, or fly.
    I was self employed once, but it proved too stressful. My boss was a jerk and my employee was a slacker - I didn't know whether to quit or fire myself.

  11. #11
    Registered User Subie Love's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-03-2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Age
    32
    Posts
    67
    Images
    15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    Also HYOH and all, but it appeared to me that many of the thru hiker I met this year who did the approach trail wished they didn't. I was planing it, but due to hiking with Splash and her schedule needing to return we skipped it. I was glad I did once I've heard of those who did.
    Its only 8 miles right? Why would they wish they skipped it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    Some people drive their car and leave it for 5-6 months at the AFSP parking lot.
    I thought about doing that but it just seems like a bad idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    Kinda related question. How do you get home from Katahdin ?
    I was also wondering about this but I figured I'd worry about it when I finish and see what other people were doing.

  12. #12

    Default

    Nothing wrong with the approach trail. The 8 mile approach trail is a bit harder as a first day than Springer to Hawk; but easier than what you are going to experience on day 2 if you started at Springer.

    I'd be willing to bet you will make your decision in the morning as leave the Hiker Hostel depending upon where the folks you met there are starting.

  13. #13
    Registered User scope's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-08-2006
    Location
    Chamblee, GA
    Age
    57
    Posts
    1,501
    Images
    34

    Default

    You're right Subie, its just hiking, what's another 8 miles, right? The arch is a great photo-op, but for the next mile+ from there is a paved trail with a series of steps leading to the top of the falls - its a meaningless hump with your pack on. If you arrange for your pack to be waiting for you at the top, then its a pleasant warm up. I would skip to the trail where it heads up from the lodge rd above the falls.

    The approach trail is really nothing special, but a lot like the rest of the trail in Ga. The trend on the 8m is up, up, and up. Not the worst climb, but often can seem like a meaningless hump of a full pack for those 8m that are not technically the AT. Personally, I hate the whole hiking south to Springer to begin hiking north from there, but it is what it is. My opinion on hiking the approach has changed over the years, and right now, I would opt to start at the Springer lot, not take my pack to the top, and pick it up on the way back down.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    4,046

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    Some people drive their car and leave it for 5-6 months at the AFSP parking lot.
    Anyone who does this should sign up for AAA before heading back to pick up the car. Don't expect a car sitting for 6 months to start. Battery jump will almost certainly be required. Gasoline can go bad so be sure to add something like StaBil. And all sorts of things can deteriorate over six months like hoses. I'd also recommend an oil change prior to leaving the car. I have experience storing a classic car each winter and have been unpleasantly surprised with some of the issues I've dealt with when getting back on the road in the spring. It is probably better to leave the car with a trusted friend who will agree to run it every few weeks or so.

  15. #15

    Default

    Just last month Survivor Dave shuttled a guy to AFSP who left his car at the park 6 months earlier at the start of his thru. Quick jump start and the guy was headed home. I do agree that it is best to leave the car with a friend if possible.

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-08-2012
    Location
    Taghkanic, New York, United States
    Posts
    3,097
    Journal Entries
    11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Subie Love View Post
    Its only 8 miles right? Why would they wish they skipped it?
    Post #13 described it pretty well.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-08-2012
    Location
    Taghkanic, New York, United States
    Posts
    3,097
    Journal Entries
    11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    Kinda related question. How do you get home from Katahdin ?
    My advice is don't worry about it, you will learn on the trail that these things always work out.

    For me I had a personal traveling trail angel Splash who also hiked about 1/3 of the AT with me. I met her a few months before my hike, she offered to drive me down and also came up for my summit. On our way back from Milinocket we also took 2 other just finished thru's - the trail will provide.

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-17-2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Age
    61
    Posts
    4,783

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Subie Love View Post
    ...Amtrak from Jacksonville to Gainesville on April 3rd is $151; Greyhound is $56....
    The Megabus runs non-stop from Jacksonville to Atlanta. The spring schedule isn't on-line yet, but in mid January, they are running a bus that arrives in the evening every day and on Fri-Mon there is a second bus that runs over night and arrives early in the AM. Prices are between 9$ and 29$ (the price depends on how quickly the tickets sell). The bus stops at the civic center MARTA station. From there you would take the MARTA to the end of the line (North Springs) where the Hiker Hostel picks you up. You would have to contact the Hostel to find out what time of day they pick up.

    http://us.megabus.com/

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-04-2013
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    39
    Posts
    152

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RN-PCT2015 View Post
    Anyone who does this should sign up for AAA before heading back to pick up the car. Don't expect a car sitting for 6 months to start. Battery jump will almost certainly be required. Gasoline can go bad so be sure to add something like StaBil. And all sorts of things can deteriorate over six months like hoses. I'd also recommend an oil change prior to leaving the car. I have experience storing a classic car each winter and have been unpleasantly surprised with some of the issues I've dealt with when getting back on the road in the spring. It is probably better to leave the car with a trusted friend who will agree to run it every few weeks or so.
    We hiked AFSP to Neel Gap in September and there were a few cars at the state park and the Springer lot that had obviously been there for a long, long time. Two of them had broken windows and unlatched hoods, which I assume means they had no battery (among other things) at all.

    I would not leave a car that I care about all summer. Wes Wisson mentioned that some hikers steal cars in Atlanta and leave them at Springer. Clearly, I don't recommend that, but it was interesting hearing him talk about it (among other things).

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,011

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by scope View Post
    You're right Subie, its just hiking, what's another 8 miles, right? The arch is a great photo-op, but for the next mile+ from there is a paved trail with a series of steps leading to the top of the falls - its a meaningless hump with your pack on. If you arrange for your pack to be waiting for you at the top, then its a pleasant warm up. I would skip to the trail where it heads up from the lodge rd above the falls.

    The approach trail is really nothing special, but a lot like the rest of the trail in Ga. The trend on the 8m is up, up, and up. Not the worst climb, but often can seem like a meaningless hump of a full pack for those 8m that are not technically the AT. Personally, I hate the whole hiking south to Springer to begin hiking north from there, but it is what it is. My opinion on hiking the approach has changed over the years, and right now, I would opt to start at the Springer lot, not take my pack to the top, and pick it up on the way back down.
    Agree with the technical descriptions of the Approach Tr but starting an AT thru-hike or long section hike with a beginning mindset like, "its a meaningless hump with your pack on", "the approach trail is really nothing special", and "can seem like a meaningless hump of a full pack for those 8m that are not technically the AT" IMHO quite possibly sets the stage for what will occur in one's mind on the "official" AT mileage.

    Of the 8 anticipated AT thru-hikers that were dropped off(shuttled) by the Saints only two of us decided to start at AF SP rather than Springer Mt, one other thru-hiker and myself. Of the other 6 that decided to start at Springer, ALL who said things similar to what I just quoted above, NONE finished, and most, quickly quit their thru-hikes. That other thru-hiker and myself who started at AF SP were the only two that finished our thru-hikes making it to Mt Katahdin.

    If waivering hiking the Approach Tr or not on an AT thru-hike or long section hike IMHO it's probably BEST that each individual have some idea why the hell their hiking in the first place!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •